Dylan never knows when his next bout of pain will come. Dealing with a life-threatening hereditary blood disorder, Dylan may feel fine all day. But a small bump can land him back in the hospital.
Dylan and his family experience constant stress. He endures surgery and medication that affects his mood,
“When you are going through that, you don’t really think about anything else except what you are experiencing in the now and the effects it has on everything connected to that,” his mother, Michelle says.
A Make-A-Wish® experience offers Dylan and his family a chance to renew their courage and lift their spirits. Dylan asks Make-A-Wish Arizona to grant his wish to go to STAR WARS® Weekend in Orlando. Wish granters hear Dylan’s heartfelt wish and organize everything to give his family a memorable trip to Florida.
“It was nice to not worry about anything and have just pure fun,” Michelle says. “We were able to have a free mind to just enjoy our time together as a family.”
Dylan’s journey to a galaxy far, far away starts with a limo ride to the airport. Hours later, they arrive at their hotel in Orlando and are overjoyed by the beautiful view. The fireworks and colorful lights from nearby theme parks shine through their window – almost as if in celebration of their visit.
Dylan soon meets the voices behind his favorite characters from the animated Clone Wars series that builds on the original Star Wars saga.
“He made a face expression I had never seen before. Dylan’s face lit up full of joy and excitement,” she says.
He even jumps with happiness when he hears Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice in his ear saying one of his favorite lines. Dylan recites lines with the voice actor who plays Jedi apprentice Ahsoka Tano. Even better, he’s surrounded by people who relate to his Star Wars passion.
“I also felt Dylan deserved it, after all he has been through,” Michelle says.
Dylan makes many new friends that day – including Debbie Ernest, their VIP tour guide. Michelle says Dylan didn’t want to leave because he would really miss her.
Back home, Michelle says things are still difficult. But they will always have the memory of Dylan’s wish.
“I always bring up the wish trip as part of the things that makes us HAPPY when we are not feeling it so much,” she says.
After Dylan's wish was granted, members of the 501st Legion, an organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, return to visit with him in the hospital and wish him a happy birthday. Watch the video below.